Gerwin van der Werf
27 de Agosto de 2019.
Joseph Conrad
31 de Agosto de 2019.
I’ll talk about the Belgian writer Herman Brusselmans.

Why him? To reply in his own style: because this dickpick is probably the most f*cking interesting choice of them all.

That’s right. I didn’t choose him because his oeuvre is close to my heart. Neither his high pitched literary style. Still, he is one of the greatest writers of Belgium. How did this come to be? Well, to start with, he is (unlike many colleagues) in front of the media. He keeps himself in the picture through talk shows and columns, where he likes to mock other celebrities and comments on certain situations. This provocative talk is also very typical for his books. The overall style elements are a Highly autobiographical character, boredom, the pointlessness and flatness of existence, alcohol, sex, and cigarettes. He writes 2 books a year and mostly they don’t have a clear storyline, it’s more a grasp in the life of random persona.

To admit, I only read one book of him: ‘Forgive me the love – Everybody is unique except me’. And I didn’t even finish it. The curiosity came forth out of this taboo factor (mom-quote: don’t fill your head with that filth). Of course, forbidden fruit is more attractive, especially as a teenager. He looks like a rough person, with his motor jacket and long hair half covering his face from both sides. What also triggered me was that in the book he describes the country life of the ’60s and ’70s. Because he grew up in the same village as me it seemed even more appealing. On top of that, he played football in the club of my grandfather. Imagine, perhaps I would come across a juicy story of one of my family members!

To conclude all this: the most fascinated thing about him is the blurry line between his real identity and his public image. He keeps this cleverly constructed role alive but I know deep down, behind this facade, there is a really sensitive soul. Because if you read well, between all the dirt, there is some true hidden beauty. A pure pearl from the Masters’ wine.

Text written in April 2019.

Short bio of the volunteer:

My name is Delphine and at the beginning of March I swept the land of the best fries and chocolate in the world for Madeira. So this better be worth it!

Besides my culinary interests I’m always hungry for new experiences.  Currently I’m taking part in the Madeiran Heritage program as a history teller. I like to sink my teeth into good books, have a healthy appetite for outdoor activities (running, hiking, water sports) and am always in for a good laugh and dance. I graduated in Visual Arts as a copywriter and art director, but I keep an open eye towards everything interesting moving this world.

For those who are still wondering about the first sentence: The land I’m talking about is Belgium, obviously :D.


Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.

Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.

In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3 (KA3) which is for the support of reformation policies.

European Voluntary Service

Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.

We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.

Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.